Early Buzz on the TV Network Upfronts


Every year the TV networks gather with advertisers at Radio City Music Hall in New York in mid-May. The TV nets trot out their new shows, trying to lure advertisers with big parties and big promises of big hits, everyone hoping to hit the next "Friends." NBC starts off the upfronts on May 14 and I'll be there.

And now some of my secret, inside sources are giving me the scoop on the new shows. Here's an idea of what you might be tuning into next fall.

On NBC, "Lipstick Jungle," an adaptation of "Sex and the City"'s Candice Bushnell's novel, is said to be quite good. "Fort Pit," a police dramatic comedy from a "Law and Order" veteran also gets a thumbs up from insiders, as does "Journeyman," a fantasy about a time traveler. Getting more negative reviews is "Bionic Woman," from the "Battlestar Galactica" team.

ABC is getting early rave reviews for "Dirty Sexy Money," starring "Six Feet Under"'s Peter Krause about an idealistic lawyer repping a morally questionable family. ABC has a couple of other upcoming new shows which also got positive reviews: "Perfect Gentelmen," about the life of a CEO, "Pushing Daisies," a supernatural thriller about a guy who can bring the dead briefly back to life, and "Suspects," a crime drama, which is solved by going through a lineup of -- you guessed it -- suspects.

CBS has picked up "Babylon Fields," what's been described as an "apocalyptic comedic drama." If that sounds confusing, it's because it's about the undead (i.e. zombies) trying to resume their former lives. And surprisingly (sorry, I'm skeptical of an hour of zombie hi-jinks), some sources are saying it looks good.

People are telling me that "Viva Laughlin" looks good-- it's certainly been getting a lot of buzz. Hugh Jackman is executive producing and appearing in the remake of the popular British TV series, which is a musical!

Getting negative reviews for CBS is "Demons," a project from CBS Paramount Network TV about an ex-Jesuit priest-psychologist who performs exorcisms.

Fox's "New Amsterdam" -- a new cop show about a cop who's actually centuries old and immortal -- was described to me as "slow" -- not a good thing. But "Nurses," a comedy drama about a team of nurses is supposed to be good -- sounds like a takeoff on "Grey's Anatomy." They should hope to be as lucky that it will be that successful!

My one review for the CW's new slate is that "Gossip Girl," "Reaper" and "Wild at Heart" will all probably go -- so tune in this May for news on what snags advertisers, and next fall to check out the shows.

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